Quick Chinese Chicken & Cabbage Spaghetti

What comes to mind when you think of weeknight dinner? A casserole? Pot of stew? A quick pasta?

For us, it changes from season to season, but for now, it looks like this one-pot rice noodle dish with chicken and cabbage. It comes together in about 15 minutes, and it then scooped into bowls and passed around the table. Extra sriracha for Danny and me, please.

Quick Chinese Chicken & Cabbage Noodles on www.simplebites.net #dinner #recipe

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Roasted cabbage salad with brown butter croutons

If there is one essential ingredient that I have easy access to here in Montreal, it would have to be the baguette. Yep, the bagels are renowned, the croissants swoon-worthy, but I definitely sleep better knowing that a really great baguette is readily accessible.

It’s fair to call a baguette an ingredient if it is headed for the oven in buttery cubes. Baguettes make the best croutons, and croutons make the best salads, I think that is safe to say.

And while I’m on a roll with generalizations, I may as well go ahead and say that brown butter croutons are the best kind of all. They certainly bring the necessary crunch to today’s recipe – a very simple roasted cabbage salad.

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A Christmas salad of winter greens & seasonal fruit

It’s funny how this salad came to be: a rough chop of leftover greens from the crisper drawer and a few odd bits of scrounged fruit. It wasn’t until I had everything assembled on my cutting board that I noticed the unmistakably festive red, white and green colors.

From there it was merely a matter of balancing the flavors – bitter versus sweet – and textures (the kale benefits from a five-minute marinade in the vinaigrette before the salad is tossed) before mounding it next to another holiday staple – tourtière.

One forkful into this plate and I realized it was the perfect match: rich, spiced pork pie with buttery pastry complemented by a slightly bitter, crunchy salad of winter greens.

Not only does this salad boast the colors of Christmas, but it offers a welcome burst of acidity at a time when foods tend to be so rich. I think you’re going to want to stock some kale and pomegranate in the refrigerator this week.

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Favorite fall recipe: Slow-cooker {lazy} cabbage rolls with brown rice & herbs

Scarcely two weeks ago I wrote of clutching tightly to summer, but over the past few days, I’ve relinquished my grip, and admitted to spotting yellow-tinged leaves among the trees lining our lane.

At the markets, I can feel my excitement growing over the pallets laden with magnificent new squash of all varieties, and may have been caught snapping iPhone photos of a particularly attractive stalk of brussels sprouts. Obviously, fall is getting into my head.

I’ve trading shorts for leggings, wrapped an orange scarf around my neck, and donned my favorite mid-season gray jacket. Thus bundled yesterday, I joined the family for a Sunday walk along the river where the boys dashed here and there among the tall oaks, stuffing their pockets with fallen acorns and collecting brilliant yellow poplar leaves. The cool sting of the wind on my temples was revitalizing; a much needed stimulant for my groggy mind.

The combination of a week of rainy weather and an dramatic political sequence of events, not to mention kissing both my boys off to school, has left me tired and melancholy, looking to comfort food for a lift. The daily table d’hôte of summer salads and berrylicious desserts has been swiftly replaced with roasted root vegetables and bowls of steaming, creamy polenta.

To help pick me up further last week, I pulverized cinnamon and cardamom seed together to add to brown rice and coconut milk for a rich, spiced rice pudding that we ate by the bowlfuls, topped with the last peaches of the season. Then pale green heads of cabbage, firm to the touch and frugal to the pocketbook, caught my eye at the market. One handsome noggin made its way into my kitchen, and, not long after, into my slow-cooker for a simple, and utterly satisfying dinner.

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Quick Asian Noodle Salad Recipe

Written by Allison of Some the Wiser. Welcome, Allison!

There are a lot of reasons to skip restaurant meals and eat at home.  Cooking your own meals at home is a great way to save money, eat healthy, and create memories in the kitchen.  As a single parent with small children, I don’t make it out to a restaurant more than a few times a year.

While I love the simplicity of eating at home and making meals from scratch, sometimes I crave the delicious ethnic flavours that my favorite local restaurants do so well.  With a little practice, I’ve been able to satisfy my cravings with a few simple tricks in the kitchen.

For me, the most difficult flavours to recreate at home have been those found in Asian cooking.  I can do Mexican/Southwestern style food with ease, and I am pretty good at recreating Italian pasta dishes.  Asian food, however, has been a little trickier to master.

I finally had a breakthrough with Asian cooking at home when I realized that there are a few simple ingredients that add all of the flavour that I missed from my favorite restaurants.

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